Udall, Jesse Addison, 1893-1980

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Lawyer, Graham County Superior Court Judge, Arizona Supreme Court Justice.

From the description of Jesse A. Udall papers, 1882-1981 (bulk 1935-1978). (University of Arizona). WorldCat record id: 30676556

Jesse Udall was born on June 24, 1893 in Eagar, Arizona, one of six children of Mormon settlers David King Udall and Ida Hunt. He attended elementary and high schools in St. Johns, Hunt, and Snowflake, Arizona, and graduated in 1914 from Gila Academy (now Eastern Arizona Junior College) in Thatcher, Arizona. In 1917 he wed Lela Lee (1895-1976). They had six children.

Following service as an Army ambulance driver in France during World War I, Udall graduated from the University of Arizona Law School in 1924, and established a private practice in Safford. A Republican, he was elected County Attorney for Graham County, a position he held in 1925 and 1926. Returning to private practice, he served as a state legislator from Graham County from 1931 to 1935. He was elected Graham County Superior Court Judge in November 1938.

In 1926 and 1927, Udall helped organize a National Guard unit, 158th Infantry Company G, in Safford. He became captain of the unit in 1928, and five years later was promoted to major in the Judge Advocate Department. As Lieutenant Colonel in 1942 he was called to active duty in Washington, D. C., where he served as Chief of the Review Section of the Internal Security Division, and later as a member of the Industrial Employment Review Board. Returning to Safford in 1945, Udall resumed his private law practice. He was a member of the Arizona Interstate Stream Commission from 1948 to 1953, and was appointed Graham County Superior Court Judge from 1953 to 1958. He served the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the presidency of it's Southern California Mission from 1958 to 1960. He resigned that position when he was appointed to fill the Arizona Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Levi Udall. He was elected to that seat in 1960, 1964 and 1970, and retired in 1972 due to the poor health of his wife Lela. He served as Chief Justice in 1964 and 1969.

Udall married Lillian Cliff Jenkins in 1977. Throughout his life he was active in the Mormon Church, serving as bishop of Thatcher Ward, president of St. Joseph Stake, and patriarch of Tempe Stake. He was also active in a number of service organizations, including the Boy Scouts and Rotary Club. He died of heart failure on May 11, 1980.

From the guide to the Jesse A. Udall papers, circa. 1882-1981 (bulk, 1935-1978), (University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Jesse A. Udall papers, circa. 1882-1981 (bulk, 1935-1978) University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections
referencedIn Ida Hunt Udall photograph collection, 1866-1898 Utah State University. Special Collections and ArchivesPhotograph Collection
creatorOf Udall, Jesse Addison, 1893-1980. Jesse A. Udall papers, 1882-1981 (bulk 1935-1978). University of Arizona Libraries
referencedIn Ellsworth, Maria S. (Maria Smith), 1918-1999. Ida Hunt Udall photograph collection, 1866-1898. Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Arizona. National Guard. corporateBody
associatedWith Arizona. Supreme Court. corporateBody
associatedWith Ellsworth, Maria S. (Maria Smith), 1918-1999. person
associatedWith Udall family family
associatedWith Udall, Lela Lee, 1895-1976. person
Place Name Admin Code Country


Birth 1893-06-24

Death 1980-04-18


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